Thursday, June 18, 2009

Bank Job

The Democrats want to push through the banking regulation reform bill by the end of the year, which — for Congress — would be Warp 9.5.

Obama wants to empower the Federal Reserve to oversee the largest and most influential financial firms. He also wants to create a council of federal regulators, chaired by the treasury secretary, to monitor risk across the broader market.

A new consumer protection agency would be created to prevent deceptive practices by such companies as credit card lenders and mortgage brokers.

The proposal was well-received among Democrats on Capitol Hill, who said it would prevent another round of bank bailouts and protect consumers from predatory lending practices.

Of course, this has run into the usual roadblock.

”We have to evaluate it, weigh it, slow it down and make sure we do it right,” said Sen. Richard Shelby of Alabama, the top Republican on the Senate Banking Committee. ”Because if we don’t, we will pay dearly.”


House Republicans said Obama’s plan would go too far and bury the market in unnecessary regulation.

Senate Republicans were less dismissive but stopped far short of endorsing the proposal. Shelby and Sen. Judd Gregg, R-N.H., questioned aspects of the plan but said they hoped to work with Democrats to make it stronger.

They brought this on themselves. If the banks hadn’t been deregulated and allowed to do whatever the hell they wanted, we might have avoided a lot of the mess we’re in now. It takes a lot of right-wing chutzpah to come across as the ones who are complaining about “unnecessary regulation.”

I know that’s not a surprise; I just thought I’d point that out.